Synthesis 2015 > Poland

Poland 2015

Long-time spared by the economic crisis affecting the rest of Europe, Poland witnessed in 2012 a sharp rise of concerns, together with the deceleration of its economy. This year’s survey reveals a return to the situation of 2012, with a feeling of vulnerability that remains high, but has slightly lessened. The appetite of Polish people for risk is back, and they take full share in the rise of new collaborative consumption practices, which they fully believe can lead to more solidarity in society.

In Poland, the feeling of vulnerability remains high but has rather decreased since the peak observed in 2013

Despite encouraging signs concerning the economic situation in Poland, a vast majority of Polish people still feel more at risk than 5 years ago, at a time they were rather spared by the economic crisis. They feel more at risk to experience financial difficulties (73% compared to 59% for the European average); to be plunged into a precarious situation (72% compared to 53%), to lose their job (65% compared to 44%) and even to experience family-related difficulties (54% compared to 35%).
Although these levels of concern remain very high, they are lower than what was witnessed in 2013, especially when it comes to the fear of unemployment (79% of people felt at that time they were more at risk to lose their job, compared to 65% now). Concerns are now back to their 2012 level, except for family-related difficulties, which have continued to rise (partly because we added this year the issue of dependency in brackets).

The risk of unemployment however remains one of the risks worrying Polish people the most. In Poland, 34% of the respondents (compared to 29% on average) cite this risk among the three they find the most worrying, however far behind health risks –including the loss of autonomy- (70% compared to 66% on average) and financial risks (42% compared to 37% on average). Road risks, which rank 3rd for the European average (before unemployment), are in Poland cited in 4th position.

A relative majority still consider they are less well protected against these risks than 5 years ago (43% compared to 41% on average), which is however better than in 2013 (48% found they were less well protected).

Polish people are however ready to take risks (again)

Whereas in 2013, 58% of the Polish population had the feeling their social situation was worse than the one of their parents when they were their age, this proportion has significantly decreased: only 35% think the same today (-23 points compared to 2013). One respondent out of two even thinks his/her social situation is better than what was his/her parents’ (50% compared to only 33% in 2013). This feeling remains however in the minority for Polish aged below 45 y.o.

Having the feeling they are no more on the path to social decline, Polish people appear ready to take a chance again, although with more cautiousness than before: 52% consider risk as something exciting (+3 points compared to 2013, after a sharp decline of 9 points before 2012 and 2013), when a majority of Europeans rather considering it as a danger to be avoided (60%; only 48% in Poland). A majority of them (52%; +2 compared to 2013 following -11 points between 2012 and 2013) also think that to be successful, it is better to take a lot of risks. Finally, Polish people remain slightly more convinced than the average that risk-taking is promoted in their country (43% compared to 39% on average).

In Poland, ownership is still considered as a security, but collaborative consumption is on the rise

Asked about their preference for ownership vs. borrowing or hiring a certain number of things, Polish people appear a bit more attached to private property than other Europeans: on average, they prefer to borrow or hire only 1.6 out of the 7 items tested, compared to 2.1 for the European average. The preference for ownership of the main residence is even higher than in the rest of Europe (95% compared to 87% on average).

For the last 5 years, Polish people have especially more often opted to buy things second hand (45% have done this more often, compared to 39% on average) and to exchange them (22% compared to 19%). Hiring things or borrowing them did however not develop in Poland as much as in the rest of Europe: 13% did hire things more (compared to 17% for the European average) and 18% did borrow things more (compared to 27%).

In Poland, a large majority have however witnessed the rise of collaborative consumption (renting, lending, exchanging knowledge between private individuals, car-sharing, exchanging homes…): 66% have noticed the emergence of these new forms of consumption in Poland (compared to 64% on average).

Polish people have on average tried 5.9 out of 17 collaborative consumption practices tested, which is more than the European average (4.6).
A majority of them have already bought products from small local producers who live in their region (73% compared to 65% on average) and have already bought or sold second-hand cultural goods (53% compared to 54% on average). A majority have also already used a tutorial (56% compared to 48% on average), and they have significantly more often than the European average bartered products with private individuals (48% did so compared to 33% on average). Polish people did also more often than the average European resort to collaborative consumption revolving around the car (38% already asked to rent someone’s car or take them in a car-sharing arrangement, compared to only 19% on average), and in the field of housing (20% have already rented their own residence to a private individual for their holidays; compared to 12% on average).

Like in the rest of Europe, the main reason for adopting collaborative consumption practices in Poland is to save money or to earn some money (68% of Polish people cite this reason as one of the two main reasons; 71% on average). The wish to avoid intermediaries is also high in Poland (19% compared to 10% on average).

The majority of Polish people are convinced that the development of collaborative consumption is an underlying trend (71% think so, compared to an average of 73%). Only 29% believe on the contrary that these new forms of consumption will not last, and that this phenomenon will run out of steam.

Polish people are largely convinced of the virtues of collaborative consumption

When 69% of the Europeans believe that the development of collaborative consumption leads to more solidarity in society, Polish people are even more enthusiastic: 76% think it is the case.

Polish people are indeed even more convinced than the European average that collaborative consumption practices can show (even only partly) solidarity: for example, 89% think that exchanging services can be categorised as showing solidarity (compared to 82% on average), 88% think the same about participating in the creation of an internet tutorial (compared to 76% on average) and 89% about offering to give people lifts in exchange for a small contribution to expenses (compared to 76%).

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